Zionist deceptions

The Zionist enterprise often called for devious and evasive methods,
and [Israeli Prime Minister Levi] Eshkol
knew each and every trick
to get around
prohibitions, restrictions, and obstacles;
this deviousness was a skill learned in the Jewish Diaspora.

1967 by Tom Segev,
page 87

Here is an excerpt from Righteous Victims by Benny Morris, page 554,
about Israeli psychological warfare operations
during the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon:

“We would take people in and feed them dirt
about people we were against:
He’s an embezzler, he’s a homosexual, he’s a coward and so on ....”

In the book that is also a quotation,
citing an “IDF intelligence officer quoted in Black and Morris,”
that is, Ian Black and Benny Morris,
Israel’s Secret Wars: A History of Israel’s Intelligence Services, pages 393–94.

Miscellaneous Examples


Rice Hears Palestinians' Grievances
By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post, 2007-10-18

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

[U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice described the current negotiations
as the most serious effort at settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute
in seven years.
She also said that listening to Palestinian civic leaders’ complaints
was “sometimes sobering,”
but added that every one of the people present
endorsed a two-state solution to the problem.
She refused to be drawn into criticizing Israel over the barrier.

“Let’s be real -- there is a security problem,”
Rice said.
“No one wants to have barriers, but there is a security barrier there.
We have been told many, many times -- and have been assured -- that

it is not a political barrier

and it cannot be a political barrier.
I look forward to the day when security is brought about in a different way.”

[So Condi formulates the alternatives as
“security barrier” versus “political barrier.”
Well, one thing is sure, even if Condi has effectively denied it:
The “fence” or “wall” or “barrier” or whatever you want to call it,
is far more than just a security barrier, by the fact of where it is placed.
  • encompasses far more than Israel’s 1967 boundary,

  • was drawn unilaterally by Israel
    (can Condi even admit that,
    or is she so totally delusional that that is beyond her?),

  • encloses territory that was seized by aggression (the 1967 war).
By virtue of that, its placement represents a political decision.

One could, with justice,
pick on Condi for stating such a deceptive, delusional position:
The barrier cannot be conceptually separated from where it is placed,
and that represents a political decision,
and so the barrier is a political one.
(Condi, in other words, is either a liar or a fool.)

The rest of the world knows that.
The Muslims waiting to take up arms against America know that.
It would be advisable for the American people to make themselves aware of that,
if necessary without waiting for the elite to inform them
(which may never happen, given past precedent).

When she says
“I look forward to the day when security is brought about in a different way,”
the question that should be asked is
“Security for what territory?
The legal, internationally-recognized pre-1967 Israel?
Or the bloated ‘Greater Israel’ that the United Nations,
along with all the other democracies such as
Britain, France, Germany, the Nordic countries, Japan, etc.,
has repeatedly refused to recognize?”

When Condi ignores that distinction,
she only proves what a stooge of the Zionists she is.

And what’s with this pathetic bit about taking Israel’s assurances at fact value?
Is that what America is reduced to, “thanks” to the Israel lobby?

But the problem is not just with Condi.
The elite of our society, including the “liberal” American churches,
have decided to ignore the above facts.
While the local churches, for example,
get up in arms over alleged “domestic violence”
(often without bothering to determine any more than
the woman’s side of the story:
what else matters to them?),
they could care less about the injustices
done under the cover and auspices of American support and protection
(which discriminates them from so many of the other “injustices”
that the Jews would have us worry about, such as in Darfur and Burma).
The “liberal” Protestant churches
can ignore the injustice done to the Palestinians,
but they only prove how feminized, ignorant, and bigoted they are.]


A Blast Still Reverberating
25 Years Ago, a New Kind of War Began in Beirut
By David Ignatius
Washington Post, 2008-04-17

[An excerpt; paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.
For the Wikipedia article on this bombing, click here.]

It is April 18, 1983,
and I am visiting the American Embassy in Beirut
as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.


The good times are returning, I think.
The city has been pounded by eight years of civil war,
and then by the Israeli invasion,
and then by the massacre of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila.
But now the United States has arrived as Lebanon’s protector...
[As Lebanon was in the midst of civil war,
many Lebanese viewed us not as “Lebanon’s protector”
but as taking sides in their civil war.]


At 1:03, I hear an enormous blast.
The percussive force shakes my windows, nearly a mile away.
I have a momentary feeling of vertigo, like fear but worse.
I run back toward the Corniche.

When I reach the building, Marines are trying to form a perimeter.
I look up at the remains of the embassy:
The center facade has collapsed;
rooms have been sheared in half;
a body is visible, hideously, on an upper floor.

Sixty-three people are dead, including 17 Americans.
It’s the deadliest attack ever on a U.S. diplomatic mission up to that point.
It takes many years to confirm that it was an Iranian operation,
organized by operatives from their Revolutionary Guard.

Nobody understands it that day, but
a new kind of war has begun.

This is clearly a case of Zionist misinformation.
There was very little new about “this kind of war.”
Specifically, recall
the bombing by Jewish terrorists of the King David Hotel in 1946.
Wikipedia (as of 2008-05-09) described this bombing as follows:

The King David Hotel bombing (July 22, 1946) was a bomb attack
against the British Mandate government of Palestine and its armed forces
by members of the Irgun, a militant Zionist organization,
which was led at the time by Menachem Begin, a future Prime Minister of Israel.

Members of the Irgun, commanded by Yosef Avni and Yisrael Levi
and dressed as Arabs and as the Hotel's distinctive Sudanese waiters,
planted a bomb in the basement of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem,
part of which was being used as the base for the Mandate Secretariat,
the British military headquarters
and a branch of the police Criminal Investigation Division.
The ensuing explosion
caused the collapse of the south-western corner of the southern wing of the hotel.
91 people were killed, most of them staff of the secretariat and the hotel:
28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish, and 5 others....

The attack on the hotel
was the deadliest attack against the British in the history of the Mandate
and is often credited as being
a major factor in the British decision to relinquish the Mandate.
If classed as terrorism
[how could it not be?],
the attack was the deadliest one of its kind anywhere until the 1980s,
when the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up over Lockerbie in Scotland, occurred.

So let’s see:
King David Hotel, 91 dead, 28 British;
Lebanese embassy, 63 dead, 17 Americans.
King David Hotel, base for British operations in occupied Palestine;
Lebanese embassy, base for American operations in war-torn Lebanon.
Comparing photos, both blasts sheared off one side of each building.
The only operational difference was in the manner of bomb placement:
hand-carried versus car-borne.

No, Mr. Ignatius, the bombing by Hezbollah of America’s embassy in Lebanon,
horrific as it surely was, definitely did not represent “a new kind of war.”
Jewish terrorists had already committed an equivalent act.

(For some more examples of Zionist terror bombings,
see my post Early Zionist terrorism,
which mentions how, e.g.,
Zionists blew up British coast guard stations
“part of the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem,
where it suspected an Arab irregulars headquarters was located,
killing 26 civilians”
Not to mention the following:
“The LHI also contributed to the carnage.
On January 4, 1948,
it detonated a truck loaded with explosives outside the Jaffa city hall,
which housed the local Arab National Committee offices,
demolishing the building and killing 26 persons and wounded many more.”)

Mr. Ignatius, as knowledgeable as he is
about world affairs, the Middle East, and terror operations,
surely knew this.
So why did he describe the Hezbollah anti-American bombing as
“a new kind of war”?

I think two reasons:
  • to protect Israel, and

  • as part of the very obvious effort of much of the American elite
    to prepare the American public for a military confrontation with Iran
    (see, e.g., Giraldi-2008-05-06).

Tzipi Livni Wins Party Vote in Israel
Foreign Minister Has Chance to Be Country's First Female Premier in 34 Years
By Samuel Sockol and Griff Witte
Washington Post, 2008-09-18

[It is standard that allies sanitize each other’s history,
at least to some extent.
However, in the case of the U.S./Israel alliance,
it is vital to be aware of exactly what Israel’s history is,
for even if Americans ignore that history, the rest of the world surely does not,
and it affects not only how they view Israel,
but also how they view America
(through the prism of its unquestioning embrace of Israel.)

Here is an example of how the Washington Post
has sanitized a critical part of Israel’s history.
This is an excerpt from the article; the emphasis is added.]

Her [Livni’s] family has long been in the public eye, however:
Her parents were prominent members of the Irgun,
the underground militia that carried out
violent attacks against Arab and British institutions
as part of an effort to create a Jewish state in what was then Palestine.

[No mention of terrorism,
no mention of any casualties.

But take a look at some of what Israeli historian Benny Morris said
about the Irgun’s actions (on page 147 of his Righteous Victims).
By my count, just the actions Morris described there resulted in 96 deaths,
and of course many wounded.

See also the Irgun’s involvement in the Deir Yassin massacre.


Israel’s Lies
by Henry Siegman
London Review of Books, 2009-01-29

[Emphasis is added.]

Western governments and most of the Western media
have accepted a number of Israeli claims
justifying the military assault on Gaza:
  1. Hamas consistently violated
    the six-month truce that Israel observed
    and then refused to extend it;

  2. Israel therefore had no choice
    but to destroy Hamas’s capacity
    to launch missiles into Israeli towns;

  3. Hamas is a terrorist organisation,
    part of a global jihadi network;

  4. Israel has acted not only in its own defence
    but on behalf of an international struggle
    by Western democracies
    against this network.

I am not aware of a single
major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel
whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events.

Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any
(and there has been none from the Bush administration),
has focused instead on
whether the IDF’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and
whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties.

Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms,
so let me state bluntly that
each of these claims is a lie.

[Please note not only the substance of Siegman’s words,
here and below,
but also the fact that they were not (could not be) published in an American journal.
How awful it is that Walter Russell Mead
could not give this American media bias as
the prime reason for American support for Israel
in fact,
barely even mentioned it.
What kind of a scholar is he?
Zionists delight in deriding any criticism of Israel from academics
(Mearsheimer, Walt, Finkelstein)
as being based on “shoddy scholarship.”
The real shoddy scholarship all too often is in the defenses of Israel
(for documentation, see, e.g., Beyond Chutzpah).
Where is the even-handed treatment from Israel’s defenders?

Note also what this says about bias at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Need we note who provides much of their funding?

Now back to Siegman’s essay,
where he provides evidence for the above strong and controversial claim:]

Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce [contra claim 1]:
Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel;
in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza.
In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further.
This was confirmed
not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene
but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai,
a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division.
In an interview in Ha’aretz on 22 December,
he accused Israel’s government of having made a ‘central error’
during the tahdiyeh, the six-month period of relative truce,
by failing ‘to take advantage of the calm to improve,
rather than markedly worsen,
the economic plight of the Palestinians of the Strip . . .
When you create a tahdiyeh, and the economic pressure on the Strip continues,’
General Zakai said,
‘it is obvious that Hamas will try to reach an improved tahdiyeh,
and that their way to achieve this is resumed Qassam fire . . .
You cannot just land blows,
leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they’re in,
and expect that Hamas will just sit around and do nothing.’

The truce, which began in June last year and was due for renewal in December,
required both parties to refrain from violent action against the other.
Hamas had to
cease its rocket assaults and
prevent the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad

(even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged
this had been implemented with surprising effectiveness),
Israel had to
put a stop to its targeted assassinations and military incursions.

This understanding was seriously violated on 4 November,
when the IDF entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas.
Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles.
Even so, it offered to extend the truce,
but only on condition that Israel ended its blockade.
Israel refused.

It could have met its obligation to protect its citizens
by agreeing to ease the blockade, but it didn’t even try.

It cannot be said that Israel launched its assault
to protect its citizens from rockets.
It did so
to protect its right to continue the strangulation of Gaza’s population.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that
Hamas declared an end to suicide bombings and rocket fire
when it decided to join the Palestinian political process,
and largely stuck to it for more than a year.

Bush publicly welcomed that decision,
citing it as an example of
the success of his campaign for democracy in the Middle East.
(He had no other success to point to.)
When Hamas unexpectedly won the election,
Israel and the US immediately sought to delegitimise the result
and embraced Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah,
who until then had been dismissed by Israel’s leaders as a ‘plucked chicken’.
They armed and trained his security forces to overthrow Hamas;
and when Hamas – brutally, to be sure – pre-empted
this violent attempt to reverse the result of
the first honest democratic election in the modern Middle East,
Israel and the Bush administration imposed the blockade.

Israel seeks to counter these indisputable facts
by maintaining that in withdrawing Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005,
Ariel Sharon gave Hamas the chance to set out on the path to statehood,
a chance it refused to take;
instead, it transformed Gaza into a launching-pad
for firing missiles at Israel’s civilian population.
The charge is a lie twice over.
First, for all its failings,
Hamas brought to Gaza a level of law and order unknown in recent years,
and did so without the large sums of money that donors showered on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.
It eliminated the violent gangs and warlords
who terrorised Gaza under Fatah’s rule.
Non-observant Muslims, Christians and other minorities
have more religious freedom under Hamas rule
than they would have in Saudi Arabia, for example,
or under many other Arab regimes.

The greater lie is that
Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza
was intended as a prelude to further withdrawals and a peace agreement.
This is how Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass,
who was also his chief negotiator with the Americans,
described the withdrawal from Gaza,
in an interview with Ha’aretz in August 2004:

What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that
part of the settlements
[i.e. the major settlement blocks on the West Bank]
would not be dealt with at all,

and the rest will not be dealt with
until the Palestinians turn into Finns . . .
The significance [of the agreement with the US] is
the freezing of the political process.
And when you freeze that process,
you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and
you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem.
Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state,
with all that it entails,
has been removed from our agenda indefinitely.
And all this with [President Bush’s] authority and permission . . .
and the ratification of both houses of Congress.

Do the Israelis and Americans think that
Palestinians don’t read the Israeli papers,
or that when they saw what was happening on the West Bank
they couldn’t figure out for themselves what Sharon was up to?

Israel’s government would like the world to believe that
Hamas launched its Qassam rockets because
that is what terrorists do and
Hamas is a generic terrorist group.
In fact,

Hamas is no more a ‘terror organisation’ (Israel’s preferred term)
the Zionist movement was during its struggle for a Jewish homeland.

[Contra claim 3]
In the late 1930s and 1940s, parties within the Zionist movement
resorted to terrorist activities for strategic reasons.
According to Benny Morris, it was the Irgun that first targeted civilians.
He writes in Righteous Victims that an upsurge of Arab terrorism in 1937
‘triggered a wave of Irgun bombings against Arab crowds and buses,
introducing a new dimension to the conflict’.
He also documents atrocities committed during the 1948-49 war by the IDF,
admitting in a 2004 interview, published in Ha’aretz,
that material released by Israel’s Ministry of Defence showed that
‘there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought . . .
In the months of April-May 1948,
units of the Haganah were given operational orders
that stated explicitly that they were to
uproot the villagers, expel them, and destroy the villages themselves.’
In a number of Palestinian villages and towns
the IDF carried out organised executions of civilians.
Asked by Ha’aretz whether he condemned the ethnic cleansing,
Morris replied that he did not:
A Jewish state would not have come into being
without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians.
Therefore it was necessary to uproot them.
There was no choice but to expel that population.
It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and
cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads.
It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which
our convoys and our settlements were fired on.
In other words,

when Jews target and kill innocent civilians
to advance their national struggle,
they are patriots.

When their adversaries do so,
they are terrorists.

It is too easy to describe Hamas simply as a ‘terror organisation’.
It is a religious nationalist movement that resorts to terrorism,
as the Zionist movement did during its struggle for statehood,
in the mistaken belief that it is the only way
to end an oppressive occupation and bring about a Palestinian state.
While Hamas’s ideology formally calls for
that state to be established on the ruins of the state of Israel,
this doesn’t determine Hamas’s actual policies today any more than
the same declaration in the PLO charter determined Fatah’s actions.

These are not the conclusions of an apologist for Hamas
but the opinions of the former head of Mossad and Sharon’s national security adviser, Ephraim Halevy.
The Hamas leadership has undergone a change ‘right under our very noses’,
Halevy wrote recently in Yedioth Ahronoth, by recognising that
‘its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.’
It is now ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state
within the temporary borders of 1967.
Halevy noted that while Hamas has not said how ‘temporary’ those borders would be,
‘they know that the moment a Palestinian state
is established with their co-operation,
they will be obligated to change the rules of the game:
they will have to adopt a path that could lead them
far from their original ideological goals.’
In an earlier article,
Halevy also pointed out the absurdity of linking Hamas to al-Qaida.
In the eyes of al-Qaida,
the members of Hamas are perceived as heretics
due to their stated desire to participate, even indirectly,
in processes of any understandings or agreements with Israel.
[The Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled] Mashal’s declaration
diametrically contradicts al-Qaida’s approach,
and provides Israel with an opportunity, perhaps a historic one,
to leverage it for the better.


Why then are Israel’s leaders so determined to destroy Hamas?
Because they believe that
its leadership, unlike that of Fatah,
cannot be intimidated into accepting a peace accord
that establishes a Palestinian ‘state’
made up of territorially disconnected entities
over which Israel would be able to retain permanent control.

Control of the West Bank
has been the unwavering objective of
Israel’s military, intelligence and political elites
since the end of the Six-Day War.
They believe that
Hamas would not permit such a cantonisation of Palestinian territory,
no matter how long the occupation continues.
They may be wrong about Abbas and his superannuated cohorts,
but they are entirely right about Hamas.

Middle East observers wonder whether Israel’s assault on Hamas
will succeed in destroying the organisation or expelling it from Gaza.
This is an irrelevant question.
If Israel plans to keep control over any future Palestinian entity,
it will never find a Palestinian partner,
and even if it succeeds in dismantling Hamas,
the movement will in time be replaced by
a far more radical Palestinian opposition.

If Barack Obama picks a seasoned Middle East envoy
who clings to the idea that outsiders should not present
their own proposals for a just and sustainable peace agreement,
much less press the parties to accept it,
but instead leave them to work out their differences,
he will assure a future Palestinian resistance far more extreme than Hamas –
one likely to be allied with al-Qaida.
For the US, Europe and most of the rest of the world,
this would be the worst possible outcome.
Perhaps some Israelis, including the settler leadership,
believe it would serve their purposes,
since it would provide the government with a compelling pretext
to hold on to all of Palestine.
But this is a delusion that would bring about
the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Anthony Cordesman,
one of the most reliable military analysts of the Middle East,
and a friend of Israel,
argued in a 9 January report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies
that the tactical advantages of continuing the operation in Gaza
were outweighed by the strategic cost –
and were probably no greater than
any gains Israel may have made early in the war
in selective strikes on key Hamas facilities.
‘Has Israel somehow blundered into a steadily escalating war
without a clear strategic goal, or at least one it can credibly achieve?’
he asks.
‘Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms
that it defeated in tactical terms?
Will Israel’s actions seriously damage the US position in the region,
any hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process?
To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.’
Cordesman concludes that
‘any leader can take a tough stand
and claim that tactical gains are a meaningful victory.
If this is all that Olmert, Livni and Barak have for an answer,
then they have disgraced themselves
and damaged their country and their friends.’

15 January


It takes a village to humanize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
By Richard Cohen
Washington Post, 2010-04-13

[In the Washington print edition, which I am currently looking at, the title is
“Conscience hits a wall in the West Bank”.

Under either title, here is the next-to-last paragraph of the article
(emphasis is added):]

Stephen M. Walt, a professor at Harvard
and co-author along with John Mearsheimer
of the extremely controversial book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,
[“Extremely controversial”? To whom? Certainly not to me.
The only thing that should be controversial is that so many have tried to revile it.]

has for some time been carrying on a running dialogue with almost anyone
to make the point that
supporting Israel is not in America’s best interest.
In the sense that America’s best interest
has to do with oil and Muslim nations and fighting Islamic radicalism,
he is right.
if America’s interest is enlarged to encompass shared values, he is wrong.
It is in America’s interest to support Israel.

[Much of this paragraph is either incorrect or oversimplified.

First, consider Cohen’s assertion that Walt has been trying
“to make the point that supporting Israel is not in America’s best interest”.
Let’s see what Walt and Mearsheimer actually say in the book that Cohen cites,
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
One section of its conclusion is titled
A New Relationship: Treat Israel as a Normal State”.
In that section, Mearsheimer and Walt write:

It is time for the United States to treat Israel not as a special case
but as a normal state,
and to deal with it much as it deals with any other country.

Treating Israel as a normal state means
no longer
pretending that
Israel’s and America’s interests are identical, or
acting as if Israel deserves steadfast U.S. support
no matter what it does.

When Israel acts in ways that the United States deems desirable,
it should have American backing.
When it does not, Israel should expect to face U.S. opposition,
just as other states do.
To paraphrase, Walt and Mearsheimer suggest that American support
should not be unconditional, but rather conditional.
Not a blank check for whatever policy the Israeli polity comes up with.
Thus whether “supporting Israel is in America’s best interest”
will depend on what Israel does,
a quite sensible position it seems to me.

Second, Cohen writes:
“if America’s interest is enlarged to encompass shared values, [Walt] is wrong.
It is in America’s interest to support Israel.”
That is a standard Zionist argument these days,
that Israel and America share values
(democracy, human rights, the rule of law, etc.),
so that when Israel is threatened
America should rush to defend a state with which we share so much.
But look at what Israel does.

Is moving 500,000 settlers into territory that Israel conquered in 1967
a shared value?
Is displacing Palestinians and seizing their property for those settlers
a shared value?
Is refusing to divide Jerusalem between the two religions that hold it sacred
a shared value?

I don’t think so. (Of course, there are Americans who do think so.)

So why should America support Israel when it insists on those policies?

Democracy may be wonderful (there are arguments, of course),
but are those who say we should support Israel
because it is a democracy in a region of autocracies and theocracies
arguing that
every decision a democracy comes up with is automatically right?
Jews have a really slippery relation with the concept of democracy.
They think it’s great when it comes up with policies they agree with,
but let the majority of the people support positions that Jews don’t like so much
(say, prayer in the schools),
we start hearing about “the tyranny of the majority” and “minority rights,”
and find policy being made, not by the democratically elected branches,
but by judges and commissions (e.g.),
the “meritocracy”, the “educated classes”, and the oligarchy.
They’re all for minority rights,
as long as the minority is not West Bank Palestinians.

Finally, the key point should be
the distinction between “supporting Israel”
and “supporting every policy the Israeli political system comes up with.”]

After the flotilla attack, it's time for a new, kinder Israeli narrative
By Daniel Kurtzer
Washington Post Outlook, 2010-06-06

[Daniel Kurzer served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to Israel.
Here is an excerpt from his article, containing his version of some history
and a suggestion for what Israel should focus on in the future.]


The PLO decided in 1988
to officially support a two-state solution to the conflict
and entered into dialogue with the United States.
In 1991,
Arab states participated in multilateral negotiations with Israel
on water, the environment, economic development and regional security.
Arab and Israeli business leaders met at international conferences.
Israel’s diplomatic isolation eased
as China, India and others established formal ties,
and Israeli liaison offices opened in Morocco and Arab states in the Persian Gulf.
In 1994, Jordan made peace,
removing the security justification for Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
And in 2002, Arab states announced an “Arab peace initiative”
offering peace and security in return for
Israel’s withdrawal from lands taken in the 1967 war.

But the Palestinian intifada put a brake on these developments,
ushering in a decade of violence.
[Oh, it’s all the Palestinians fault?
For a less biased look, see the article
How to Torpedo the Saudis” by Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery.]

As Palestinian terrorists attacked
not only soldiers and settlers in the occupied territories,
but also civilians in Israeli cities,
the Israeli storyline of the 1950s -- David vs. Goliath -- revived.

I arrived in Israel as the U.S. ambassador in 2001,
right after the first Palestinian suicide bombing,
and discussed these issues often with then-Prime Minister Sharon,
usually in the context of the choices Israel made in dealing with terrorism.
Sharon believed that a strong and unyielding military response
was all that was needed to persuade Palestinians to stop the intifada.
A terrorist attack in Tel Aviv would often lead him to impose a closure on Gaza, preventing the movement of people and goods.

A typical conversation with Sharon on this subject went something as follows:
I would suggest that the closure on Gaza
would be seen by the media and even friendly governments
as collective punishment...

[Yeah, that’s the Zionist party line.
Anything Israel does isn’t really negative, it just seems negative.
Of course, the reality is that the closure on Gaza,
like Israel’s 2006 war against Lebanon,
was collective punishment.
But hey, these are Jews.
They never admit they do anything wrong,
nor any aspect of reality that they consider unflattering to them.
It’s all the gentiles fault, you know.
Anything that puts them in a bad light
must either be anti-Semitic or motivated by anti-Semitism.
Talk about delusions!]

Narratives, as self-justifications,
do little to explain the complexities, ironies and paradoxes
of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
When an Israeli military plan goes awry and civilians are killed --
as happened last week off the shores of Gaza --
should Israel’s narrative take in the human dimension?
[Marla Braverman, an editor of Azure,] writes that
despite a longtime tendency toward self-effacement,
“Israel must learn to adopt a clear, unapologetic stance
befitting a sovereign state.”
[“a longtime tendency toward self-effacement”?
This about Israel, with its record of
aggression and disproportionate collective punishment against its neighbors?
And near total power over the American political and media "elite"? (E.g.)
And long-standing record of thumbing its nose at the United Nations (e.g.)?
What a joke.]

Sovereign states can be strong while fostering
a narrative of caring about the consequences of their policies.
Its narrative does, too.
by developing a storyline ...

Israel’s Cult of Victimhood
'Barefoot' soldiers on the high seas
by Jonathan Cook
Antiwar.com, 2010-06-10

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